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THE DESERT GUARDIAN                   3J
Under the limpid sapphire sky, I took my last look at the wide forehead, the deeply suak eyes, the round plump cheeks, the massive projecting headdress made to imitate a real one of folded linen with horizontal bands running across it, one broad band between two narrower lines. I glanced anew at the rose-coloured streaks which still marked its cheeks, reminiscent of the Sphinx which the ancients saw, whose form was plastered over with smoothed limestone and whose surface was then coloured a dull red.
If the force of a lion and the intelligence of a man mingled their symbolisms in this crouching body, there was yet something neither bestial nor human in it, something beyond and above these, something divine! Though not a word had passed between us, nevertheless a spiritual healing had emanated from the Sphinx's presence. Though I had not dared to whisper into those great ears, so deaf to the world's bustle, I knew it had perfectly comprehended me. Yes, there was some supernatural element in this stone being, which had come down to the twentieth century like a creature from an unknown world* But those sealed heavy lips dose in upon their Atlantean secrets. If the daylight had now fully revealed the Sphinx to me, it also increased the latter's mystery.
I stretched my cramped feet out upon the sands and then slowly stood up, speeding a valedictory word at the impassive face. And in its fixed eastward stare, ever watchful for the first rays of the sun, I read again the hopeful symbol of our certain resurrection, as certain and as inescapable as the sun's dawning.
"Thou belongtst to That Which Is Undying, and not merely to time alone" murmured the Sphinx, breaking its muteness at last. "Thou art eternal, and not merely of the vanishing flesh. The soul in man cannot be killed, cannot die. It waits, shroud-mapped, in thy heart, as I waited, sand-wrapped, in thy world. Know Myself t 0 mortal I For there is One within thee, as in all men, that comes and stands at the bar and bears witness that there IS a Godl"